|The Taylight Zone - Anthology Nine
19 - Seasons in the Sun - Melanie & Rebecca
Thanks to "Aryan Fool" for the inspiration.
1. We had joy, we had fun...
"Look. Just look at the beetles!"
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"The beetles are having sex! Right there in the grass!"
"Taylor, you're a pervert," Wendy mumbled as they walked down the street on a dark and particularly hot April night.
"But a cool pervert." Taylor leaned over and tickled her in a place he affectionately referred to as 'Wendy's love handles'.
"HEY! AHH! STOP! RAPE! OH GOD, RAPE!!!" Wendy screamed, pushing Taylor forcefully down into the path of a garbage receptacle.
"Hmmmmph. I am TOO cool for you. But I know you want me." Taylor stood up slowly, brushing various bits of garbage off of his shirt and tossing his head.
"Ummm....NO." Wendy gave Taylor an unimpressed look. "You're only here to walk me home, not to do me...unless you had something else on your agenda."
Taylor gave Wendy a very innocent look, widening his baby blue eyes. "Oh NO Wendy, I didn't plan to do you."
Wendy managed a small smile.
"No, I just wanted you to give me head." He pulled his Adidas shirt up, revealing his skinny lower stomach, and traced a pattern with his finger down it. "Follow the trail to happiness, Gwendolyn." He reached down and began playing with his zipper.
Wendy grimaced, then picked up her pace and walked ahead. "I DON'T KNOW YOU!!!"
"TEN DOLLAR BOOM-BOOM, SEVEN DOLLAR SUCKY SUCKY!!!" Taylor hollered after Wendy, his face growing crimson.
Wendy, trying to ignore her screaming friend, continued on until she reached the front door of her house. She turned around once more. "Taylor, you can just go home now and find your own trail of happiness." With that, she retreated into her house and closed the door behind her.
Taylor stood at the end of the driveway, a bit confused. After a moment, he yelled back: "That was a bit harsh, wasn't it? I think I'll go home and cry now!" With a dramatic and overemphasized huff, he turned on one sneakered foot and walked off in the direction from which he had come.
Wendy watched him leave from the peephole in her door. She always thought he had a nice ass, and from this vantage point she could see all she wanted. Wendy always had a secret crush on Taylor, but never mentioned it to "the group", which comprised of Isaac, Taylor, and Zac Hanson; Joseph, 'the fat kid down the street'; Warren, one of Ike's best friends, and Michelle ('Zac's bitch' aka 'Zac's friend"), who were twins, and Wendy.
"The group" had been together as long as all of them could remember. They'd pretty much grown up together, or at least since Ike was 9 or 10. They climbed hills and trees, skinned their hearts and skinned their knees. Wendy, the little 5'2" wiseass with brown eyes and brown hair, was the smallest by far of the group. She always had to go the extra mile to prove her toughness to the others, even though she was a slacker by nature. She wasn't a tomboy, and she wasn't girlie, but instead maintained the median. She always thought that this was one of her best traits: not being exceedingly butch or feminine.
If there was one thing that Wendy believed in as a young girl, it was true love. And she read true love in Taylor's eyes. Indeed, they did flirt -enough for everyone to make a note of it and tell them that they should go out- but somehow the flirting never quite coalesced into a relationship. Wendy was absolutely convinced that it would happen sooner or later, as long as she was patient. In fact, lately all Taylor talked about around her was them two making sweet love...albeit jokingly...friendly.
That all changed one day.
2. Together we've climbed hills and trees...
The Hanson boys were in their garage, making the best rehearsal possible given the horrible heat of the spring day. Joseph and Warren lay limply in the old La-Z-Boys that had been retired from the Hanson living room, watching TV in the corner. Isaac was idly strumming his guitar, Taylor plunking out a few chords on the keyboards, and Zac was laying on the floor behind the drums, reading a magazine. Yes, it was a productive day in the Hanson studio.
Wendy shuffled in through the garage door, covered in sweat and eating a Fudgesicle. She'd obviously stained her shirt on the way over. "How are you all this lovely day?" she asked in a Cockney accent.
Isaac said nothing, he simply raised his hand and gave her the finger.
"Not now Ike, that's for later." She grinned in a rare display of her teeth. Taylor swiped his sheet music off of the keyboard with his sweaty hands and threw all of it at her.
"Hey, Wanda," Warren spoke, shifting slightly towards Wendy, "Michelle's bringing over this new chick. She's bringin' her over so we can make her feel welcome."
"Ah, we'll probably just scare her away." Taylor looked down at his hands.
"SHUT UP! 'Gilligan's Island' is starting!" Joseph screamed, pointing to the TV with one chubby finger.
"I think Joseph's attracted to the Skipper," Zac said. Once again, everyone laughed, and then Joseph got the joke and pouted.
Taylor made a gesture for Wendy to come sit on his lap. "Ahh, you're sick," Wendy spat, and retreated to one of the old recliners. Taylor made a sad face. Not being able to ignore that face, Wendy went and sat on his lap with a sort of dainty elegance.
Taylor put his arms around Wendy's waist, then turned towards Isaac. "Hey, you wanna know my favorite fast food memory?"
"Uhhh...okay." Isaac looked confused.
"Eating out at Wendy's." He smiled with the innocence of a four-year-old. Warren, Ike, and Zac all groaned in disgust.
"YOU, my friend, are perverted!" Wendy screamed, jumping to her feet, then finding solace in the old recliner.
Taylor laughed hysterically, until the tears rolled out of his eyes. Joseph, once again, did not get the joke...he was too distracted with the Skipper on the TV screen.
Two feminine figures appeared at the open garage door. The taller familiar figure was obviously Michelle. "Hello fellow Martians. I would like you to meet Anna."
Anna, a slim girl appareled in flared jeans and butterfly clips in her long strawberry blond hair, smiled weakly and gave a half-assed wave. The typical fanfic girl, if you really must know.
The boys and Wendy grumbled their hellos, but Taylor gave a big shiteating grin. This bothered Wendy in some undefinable way.
3. You gave me hope and helped me find the sun
"Did you hear???" Michelle squealed, making Wendy cringe.
"No." Wendy paused and licked her lips. "What about?"
"Taylor and Anna!!! They found love!"
"WHAT?!?!?!" Wendy nearly dropped the receiver of her phone.
"Yeah, Taylor asked her last night. Can you believe that? They are SOOOO made for each other. Oh my God, can you imagine what their kids will look like?!?!?!"
Wendy's eyes bugged out of her head. "Wait, wait, wait. Tell me again...this time, a little slower?!?!?!"
Michelle sighed in exasperation. "Well, I had Anna over, and Warren was having Taylor over, and the two started talking and left early. It was funny. Warren was all pissed off that Tay ditched him for a girl, but you know how Taylor is."
No, apparently I DON'T know how Taylor is, she thought, closing her eyes.
"Wendy? Wanda? You there???"
"Hmm? Oh, yeah...I'm here."
"Well, I guess they went to the park or something, 'cause we got a call from Tay later on that night, and he all told Warren that they were hooking up."
Oh great, the ONE place he's gotta ask her out at-the same place Michelle introduced me to Taylor back in the day, Wendy recollected.
"DAMMIT, WENDY, I DIDN'T CALL YOU TO LISTEN TO SILENCE!!! Don't you think Tay and Anna are cute together?" Michelle sounded peeved.
"Yeah...uh, hey, I gotta go, uh, to Joseph's."
"Joseph's? What the hell you going over there for, to eat?"
"Umm..yeah. Talk to you later." Wendy dropped the receiver without waiting for a response.
4. Pretty girls are everywhere/Think of me and I'll be there
For two hours she curled up in a ball on her bed, sobbing hysterically. The phone rang a couple times; by sheer intuition, she knew that the first call was from Taylor, and the second one was from Warren. No need to pick up; she just knew.
Her hair damp with sweat and tears, she sat up and walked to the mirror propped up on her desk. She stared at herself in the mirror, grimacing at the horror that the last few hours had left behind; swollen cheeks, half-shut eyes, dark circles. Her eyes ran continuously, even though she'd ceased crying.
Frantically, she began an impromptu makeover. "I can be pretty too," she mumbled as she ransacked her small makeup case that had not been touched since that unfortunate phase in eighth grade where blue eyeshadow was her passion. If she remembered correctly, Taylor made fun of her for looking like trailer trash. But nevermind that now.
She pulled her hair back and began sticking things into it; paper clips, bits of ribbon, anything laying on top of her desk that was small enough. Then she smiled at herself in the mirror.
Pulling out a forgotten bright red lipstick from her bag, she heavily applied it, so hard that the wax broke in two and fell on her lap, making a smear on her right thigh where her shorts didn't reach. The lipstick made her grin look almost clownish, but staring at herself in the mirror, she shot herself seductive looks.
She reached over and touched her reflection in the cheek with the tips of her fingers. "Such a pretty girl." Her eyes narrowed. "That Taylor. Silly boy." Bending stiffly at the waist, she kissed herself in the mirror.
"Thank you." A giggle escaped her lips, and she ran a hand over them, as to silence herself. "Shhhh."
"WENDY! WENDY! WENNN-DEEEEEE!" It was Dad.
"I'll be down in a bit." Her lips curled back again in another frightening smile. She wiped off the lipstick, pulled the various items out of her hair, and walked out the door.
5. When all the birds are singing in the sky...
Taylor and Anna sprawled in the soft, cool grass of The Park. Taylor had specifically brought Anna to The Park because it was his "special place" whenever he wanted privacy. And on this particular day, he wanted to be very private with Anna.
"Oh Taylor, I feel like I've known you forever," Anna sighed, resting her head on Taylor's shoulder.
That was...corny, Taylor thought, but forced a smile.
"I don't think your friends like me very much," she said bluntly, out of nowhere.
"What do you mean by that?" Taylor asked, but well aware of what she was talking about. It was obvious that no one really liked her, except for Michelle.
"I just mean that they don't talk to me, and they exclude me when we all go places. Like when we all went out for dinner together last Thursday? They totally ignored me."
"Ahh, that's just 'cause they don't know you all that well." Taylor shrugged. "It's no big deal. You just gotta give it some time."
"Okay, if you say so." They shared a soft, romantic kiss.
After they broke apart, Taylor informed her, rather breathlessly, "Hey, we're all gonna hang out at my place tomorrow night. Maybe you can try talking to all of them then. Try talking to Wendy some. She'll probably be the easiest to talk to. And, uh," he stuttered, "we're all probably gonna be kinda, uhhhhh, tipsy."
"You mean we're drinking," Anna said flat-out.
"Well, that'll make them all easier to talk to."
"...Let's go to your place."
Anna smiled. "Good."
6. Too much wine and too much song...
"Do you have the beer?" Ike demanded, opening the garage side door as quietly as he could.
"Yeah." Warren held up two paper bags in each hand. "Got the goods, yo."
"Shut up and get inside. For all you know there could be some tabloid reporter out there." Ike held the door open and let Warren pass, then followed him in the darkness to the beloved La-Z-Boys. Somewhere along the route, Warren tripped over something and went down. "Ah, dammit!"
"Did you break the beer? For the love of God, did you break 'em?"
"No! Ah shit, I think I did something to my wrist! What the hell did I trip over?"
"I think it's that damn bag of coal. Just move it over there, I think Taylor left it out." Ike grinned lopsidedly.
Warren kicked the bag to the side while the others slowly trickled in; first Zac and Michelle returning from their late-night 'walk', then Wendy, Joseph, and Taylor consecutively. "Hey, where's Anna?" Warren asked suggestively.
"Home." Taylor looked glum.
"Gee, that's swell," Warren joked, swinging his fist. "No, seriously. Why couldn't she come?"
"Well, ya know...she didn't clean her room. Yeah."
Warren shrugged. "Oh well."
"Oh, so your bitch couldn't come, huh?" Wendy asked, already fishing for a beer from the bag.
Taylor frowned in confusion. "Well, I don't see YOU with a man."
Wendy felt a little offended, but then grabbed Joseph's arm. "Hey, Joseph here's all man, baby."
Joseph smiled a Hitler-esque smile.
A few bottles of beer later, the group was hammered and the hysterical banter of drunkenness ensued.
"I want me some ass tonight. No, really, I do. I don't care who gives it to me either. I just want ass! NOW!" Zac clenched his fists, eyes wide, mouth set in a big smile.
"No way, man. What are you, like, nine?" Warren slurred. The others chuckled in that way only drunk people can.
Zac opened his mouth to retort, but snickered instead and continued draining his bottle.
"I'd like to see who'd get ass first, me or Zac," Joseph blurted.
"Why don't you give each other ass and shut up?" Isaac spat, eyes red-rimmed.
While the other boys talked about getting action below the belt (and Ike shared a couple secrets of his women-fetching tactics, including "leather pants 'cause everyone can see your mojo"), Wendy dragged Taylor off into the corner, beer bottle in hand. "So talk to me. I never see you anymore. Cause of what's-her-face."
Taylor blinked a few times. He was seeing double images and swaying on his feet. "Anna....Anna man, she's great, y'know, she's really good."
"So how come Ms. Good couldn't be here at our shindig?"
Taylor snorted, then laughed. "She didn't clean her room...good enough."
"Eh? What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"She didn't empty her garbage can...didn't clean the blanket...didn't hide things well enough...I damn near tore her panties right in half."
"SHIT! Taylor, you had SEX with ANNA?" Wendy whispered, near hysterics.
The shiteating grin reappeared on Taylor's face. "I looooooooooooove her."
Wendy set her beer bottle on the floor, then began rubbing her temples, mumbling "...this is not happening...this is NOT happening...this is not happening..."
7. Goodbye Michelle, it's hard to die...
Perfect hills, perfect trees, perfect grass. Dazzling Technicolor. She was the heroine. She had a mission.
She was in The Park. She knew that much. She was in The Park, and she was going after HER
::she's to blame you have to kill her::
She wasn't wearing shoes, and it was very cold. The grass felt like prickling icicles under her feet. Nevertheless, she continued.
::you have to find her and kill her::
Wendy stood in the grass, watching Michelle dancing in the spray of a sprinkler. It was something she did as a little kid. But this was a grown-up Michelle, with about a million Annas dancing at her feet. Or were they butterflies floating in the breeze? Wendy couldn't tell. Nor did she care. All Wendy cared about was that Michelle was responsible for bringing Anna into her world, and now it was time for her to take the blame.
::you found her now you have to kill her::
Wendy narrowed her eyes. And waited.
Out of the ground rose a wooden spike, almost like a stake but pointier. It rose up from the ground rapidly, impaling Michelle, skewering her like a shish kebab. Wendy wiped the dripping sweat out of her eyes and waited.
She watched Michelle's body rise into the blue sky, higher and higher until it was no longer in sight. The sprinkler went up as well, and continued spraying. Michelle's blood was everywhere now, and the sprinkler blew it everywhere. Bloody rain came cascading down, staining Wendy's white dress.
::since when do I wear white?::
As Wendy stood placidly, a distant figure came over one of the hills, humming from off in the distance. It was Warren. For a second, Wendy was terrified; this WAS his twin sister impaled on the spike, after all. But she knew it would be okay.
Warren had an ax with him, slung over one shoulder. Wendy vaguely recalled this ax being in the corner of the Hanson's garage for all eternity, but no one ever talked about it or even acknowledged its presence. But now Warren was here with the ax, and he was going to make it better. Wendy watched as he chopped away at the wooden spike, splinters flying everywhere. As soon as he had accomplished his task and the whole bloody spike came down in a crash, he tipped his lumberjack hat and walked away. Whistling.
Michelle turned her head in Wendy's direction and snapped her eyes open. Wendy flinched. Michelle opened her mouth and whispered:
"Isn't Anna pretty?"
Wendy screamed, startled out of her trance. She was sitting by her window now, in her own room.
8. Please pray for me
Wendy catnapped for the rest of that lazy afternoon, totally exhausted. The phone rang around 6 that night, and upon awakening, she mumbled one word: "Isaac."
She stretched, then picked up the phone, knowing who was on the other end of the line. "Hmm?"
"Wendy-oh God-you have to get over here now." Click, then dial tone.
Wendy sat there, on the edge of her bed, confused. What the hell was that about? She wasn't about to question Ike's distressed tone, so she pulled on her sandals and tied her hair back with a white ribbon, then ran out of the room and out of the house, down the street a while, and finally to the Hanson residence.
The garage door was closed, but the side door was open. That was a bad sign. The garage door was usually open during the day-in fact, Wendy couldn't ever remember it NOT being open during the day. Quietly, almost afraid of what was coming, she slipped in the side door.
The guys were slumped in the chairs, and they were all crying. This was surprise No. 1. "Just what the fuck is going on here?!" she demanded shrilly.
Warren angrily rubbed his eyes with one fist. "Wendy, I think...you better sit down."
She took a vacant seat and looked at Warren expectantly.
Warren took in a watery breath and released it. "Michelle went to sleep this afternoon...and didn't wake up. She's dead."
Zac began to hysterically sob, his shoulders shaking. "Wendy, she's dead!!! Do you realize that?" he snuffled out through his cries.
"No. This is fake. It can't be. You're-you're-you're all fake. YOU'RE ALL LYING, GODDAMNIT!" She ran a sweaty hand through her equally sweaty hair.
Isaac stood up. "Wendy, you need to calm down."
"Calm down???? You expect me to calm down at a time like THIS? You all killed her! You're all against me!" Wendy screamed.
Taylor stood up, took a few long strides, and embraced her, sniffling. Wendy struggled briefly, then stopped.
::this is what you want isn't it::
was her last conscious thought before she passed out in Taylor's arms.
9. I wonder how we got along...
The days following Michelle's death were particularly painful for Wendy. She drifted in and out of her trances, which were quickly becoming scarier and scarier. Her friends came over, vainly attempting to cheer her up and help her out with her feelings, but nothing really helped. She was just too distant.
Taylor and Anna continued to be The Item, The Unit, and The Couple. This made Wendy even more manic. Warren and his family also left town for a while, which left Wendy with one less confidant. Joseph, Isaac, and Zac became closer as a result and spent most of their time in the garage, doing nothing in particular and communicating wordlessly. It was a bad time for everyone.
Wendy was in The Park again. The Park somehow made everything feel better. She was in her season in the sun, and everything was great.
Except for one thing. That damn blond chick.
::have to get her::
Taylor and Anna were on the hill, dressed in white. Funeral colors. All white made Wendy feel uneasy. She thought that Taylor looked like a Backstreet Boy in all white...but that wasn't relevant now, was it?
::you found them now you have to get HER::
Wendy began trudging up the hill, taking long strides. Her feet were bare but this time it was warm. Did it have something to do with Taylor? She didn't know. Anna spotted her, bolted from her seated position, and began to run.
::now's your chance you have to get her::
Taylor looked at Wendy with a hurt expression. "Why are you doing this?"
"She deserves it."
"But she's so pretty."
Wendy resisted the urge to give him the finger and slap him in the face. Instead, she took off after Anna, feeling strangely refreshed. Taylor oddly followed Wendy like he was one of her minions.
Anna stood waist-deep in The Lake, looking rather helpless. She was screaming for Taylor. He looked torn between two worlds.
"Why don't you help her?" Wendy inquired.
"I don't know," he responded.
Could Taylor have feelings for Wendy? Could he possibly resent Anna, in some dark corner of his mind? Wendy was confused.
Wendy splashed into the water, moving extremely quick in Anna's direction. Anna continued to scream. Wendy finally reached Anna, lifted her dripping arms out of the water, and proceeded to throttle Anna violently by the throat.
::you got her now, don't you::
After a few minutes of struggling, Anna ceased her fight. She was totally limp. Wendy continued to strangle her lifeless body...until Taylor came jumping into the water and prying Anna from under Wendy's vicelike grip. Anna fell gracelessly into the water, sending up a huge splash for such a skinny body.
Taylor dragged Wendy out of the water and onto the shore of The Lake, and for a moment he gave her an extremely wary look. Then he bellowed, "WHAT DID YOU DO THAT FOR?!? DON'T YOU CARE ABOUT ME?!?"
"I CARE!" Wendy screamed...to an empty room.
10. You tried to teach me right from wrong...
Anna mysteriously fell under a coma not long after Michelle died, but we all, by this time, probably know why. Taylor became terribly depressed, spending his days moping around the house if he wasn't at the hospital. He was also worried about Wendy, and he would visit her on occasion, but she would be so zoned out sometimes that she wouldn't respond to his presence in the same room.
He visited Wendy's house on a relatively cool afternoon. Her father sent him up to her room, where she was in her daysleeping mode, propped up like a doll on her bed. Not uncommon for her anymore. Taylor entered the room, pulled the chair out from her desk, and sat down. In a low tone, he began to speak.
"Wendy, it's Taylor. I doubt you can hear me, but I guess it doesn't matter anyway. Well, Michelle's gone, Warren's essentially gone, my own brothers are scared of me because I'm the Human Zombie, and Joseph's keeping to himself, and you're...well...you're not here anymore." He let out a breath he didn't know he'd been holding in, then continued. "Anna's in the hospital...she's in this coma...what's happening, Wendy? I know you know something and you just haven't been telling us. But something's going on-you keep going into these things and you act like I'm not even here." He let out a series of sobs, sobs he'd been holding in for a while. He got up, sat on the bed, and hugged the unresponsive Wendy. Tears fell out of his eyes. "God knows how much I've prayed, Wendy. There are days when I just wish it would end."
Without warning, Wendy came back out of her trance. She moved her arms around Taylor in a tight hug. "It's okay, Taylor."
He drew back, surprised. "What the hell?"
"Are you okay, Tay? You look like you've been crying."
Taylor ground the tears out of his eyes with his fists. "No, I am NOT okay."
"It's Anna, ain't it?"
"How do you KNOW that?!" Taylor jumped to his feet, suddenly pensive.
She looked up at him for a moment, then reached up and touched his face. "It'll be okay. Trust me." She sat back against the wall, smiled, and slipped back into her daysleep.
"NO!" Taylor took Wendy by the shoulders and shook her hard enough to slam her head back into the wall. No response.
11. Little children everywhere...
Warm. Incredibly warm. Her season in the sun.
Wendy was barefoot, standing on the hill in The Park. Taylor was waiting at the foot of the hill, at the edge of The Lake. He was wearing all blue. Wendy looked down at herself and realized that she was, too.
Taylor laughed, a laugh she hadn't heard in a long time. "What are you waiting for?" He turned and ran into the water.
Wendy found herself laughing. "Hold up, freak!" She ran as fast as she could, considering she was wearing a dress, down towards The Lake. She ran past Michelle, still impaled on her spike, covered in dry, crusty blood. She was decomposing. The smell of putrefaction made Wendy gag.
Taylor laughed again. The sound tore Wendy away from the sight of Michelle and back towards The Lake. Trodding out into the water, she stopped and looked down at her reflection in the water. She had her hair nicely done and she was actually wearing decent-looking makeup. She could pass for a movie star, and this thought made her smile. Then she did a double take. She grimaced as her own image morphed into Anna's.
Angrily, she stomped on the reflection, then took off deeper into the water, into the arms of Tay, where everything was beautiful and perfect in every way. Just like she wanted it.
"Huh?" Wendy drew away, confused.
Taylor leaned in and kissed her, just once, but not exactly a peck, either. It sure surprised the hell out of Wendy.
"What have you wanted?"
"I don't know." Wendy rubbed her eyes. "Ah shit. And that was going so well."
She stood up, stretched lazily, and walked over to the mirror. She started applying makeup carefully, taking pains with it. After she completed her task, she stood back, looked at herself, and mumbled:
"Gee Wendy, don't you think she's pretty?"
It was dark, and it was quiet, and it was disorienting. The street was totally silent.
She crept up the driveway, making sure her feet made no noise. She knew the garage side door would be open, just by intuition. And it was. Ta-da.
There he was, sprawled out on the two-person futon spread out on the floor. It looked very inviting, as if he had known she was coming. This was all she ever wanted; to be with him at his most undefended moment, to feel loved by him, and for her to love him back without feeling like a total jackass. This night was their night.
She crept over, laid herself out on the futon, and for a moment, laid motionless. She ran her fingers through his hair, inhaling the scent.
"It's time. Thank you. I love you; you know that, right?"
Zac rolled over onto his back, feeling totally at ease for the first time in a very long time. Sleeping alone somehow made him feel better. His eyes were closed, and he stretched...and his hand hit something near him.
"What the..." He opened his eyes and saw cold, stiff Wendy next to him. He jumped up, extremely alarmed, and screamed:
12. It's hard to die...
He finally understood what the implications of the seasons in the sun were. Wendy died because she felt she had accomplished her goal. Her season in the sun had finally withered away.
He was in The Park. He knew this, just by intuition. He was waiting for someone.
Sitting on the hill, he waited. And over another hill came Wendy, dressed in her normal jeans and t-shirt. She was barefoot. And she looked happy.
She walked briskly, and sat down next to him.
"I'm sorry," he managed to squeak out.
"It's okay, Tay...really." She smiled at him. "You understand now. All I ever wanted was to feel loved."
"Yeah. I know. But...I mean...that was Zac that night, not me."
"Doesn't matter. I know now that you really did care, regardless of whatever messages you were sending."
"What about Anna?" Taylor asked.
Wendy frowned. "Our love was different." She stood up and brushed off a few pieces of grass. "Dance with me."
"Come on. Dance with me." She smiled, then turned and ran in the direction of the sprinklers. He followed, right into the spray of the water.
They danced and laughed like two little kids on a hot summer day...until Taylor heard the rumbling.
A massive wooden spike arose from the ground, almost like a stake, skewering Wendy like a shish kebab. The sprinkler went up with her, and it rained Wendy's blood everywhere.
Taylor continued to dance in the bloody rain. His season in the sun had just begun.